Malta to partially lift COVID-19 restrictions: PM

Malta will reopen non-essential shops and businesses on Monday, Prime Minister Robert Abela said Sunday.

The number of people who will be able to be out in public in groups will rise from two to four, Abela told a press conference.

Museums will also be able to open and the number of mixed households will rise to four.

Non-essential businesses had been shut last month in a bid to control the spike in new coronavirus cases. There is no date yet for the reopening of bars and gyms.

Malta will reopen restaurants and snack bars on May 10, but they will only be allowed to serve diners until 5 p.m. with a maximum of four per table, he said.

“With decisions we took, we managed to keep the number of people positive for COVID-19 under control,” he said, adding that “the road towards normality will continue gradually.”

The country will have vaccinated half of its adult population by Sunday evening, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health Chris Fearne told the same press conference.

The single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine will start being administered in Malta in the coming days, he said.

Meanwhile, 275 candidate vaccines are being developed — 91 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain and the United States, according to information released by the World Health Organization on Friday.